LGV (HGV) practical driving test

Passed my LGV class C (formerly known as HGV class 2) practical test this morning. The test took place out of Weedon, near Northampton and took place around Northampton itself and the surrounding countryside.

Today was the conclusion of a week’s training at ATT in Hinkley, which has been intensive, fun, nerve-racking, and rewarding – all at the same time.

My instructor, Pete, was excellent throughout.

On Monday, I was trying to come to terms with the eight-speed splitter gearbox on the lorry. By Tuesday I was a little more confident. I failed my mock test on Wednesday, and really brushed up on the problem areas on Thursday.

So… all in all, it’s been a very enjoyable week.

I’d love to move straight on to the C+E class (formerly known as HGV class 1) training now, but will have to save up some pennies before I do so.

Right – I’m off to buy some Yorkies now.

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Motorbike oil change day

Happy New Year!

Well, it was about time I got round to doing it again. The oil in my Yamaha Diversion XJ600S motorbike past its sell-by date a long time ago, and the one thing you should do often to a motorbike is change its oil. The reason I have been a little poor at doing this is down to the fact that since I fitted a replacement exhaust to my bike, I have been unable to get access to the sump plug without first removing the whole exhaust system, which in itself is a bit of a pig of a job. In essence, a job which should take no more than a couple of hours requires double the time (well, it does for me anyway).

No more!

I recently fitted a GIVI Wingrack to my bike – the rack that allows you to carry two hard luggage panniers and a top box. This in itself was made extremely problematic by the replacement exhaust, which is mounted slightly higher that the original exhaust and consequently prevents mounting of the Wingrack. After much faffing around, further hair loss. and various bits of advice from the MSN Yamaha Diversions group (thanks, folks!), I eventually overcame this problem by creating a small metal mounting bracket and moving the exhaust down a couple of inches. This solved my problem with the Wingrack, and I was able to mount it fairly easily once I had done this.

The unexpected benefit of dropping the exhaust a small amount has been that I can now access the sump plug without having to remove the exhaust, because there is enough room to fit a spanner between the top of the exhaust and the bottom of the oil tank.

Excellent! A job which I have always hated doing just got a whole lot easier, which means I’ll probably do oil changes at the recommended periods.

Whoopee!